A one of a kind attraction: the Dora Park in Turin

Most of those who visit Turin do not know that the city is crossed by 4 rivers: the Po (the longest river of Italy – also known under the name of Eridano) the Dora Riparia, the Sangone and the Stura di Lanzo.

Pretty much all the urban parks are located along the banks of these rivers, such as the famous Valentino that is found in the old town, on the left bank of the Po river, or the Colleta Park that is located in the north area of the city at the junction between Po, Dora and Stura.

One of the parks, which from my point of view, is among the most interesting in town is called “Parco Dora”, in the north – west of the city, which occupies quite a big area formerly covered by an industrial plant. Since Turin has been for almost a century, the capital of Italian Industry, the city was surrounded by several plants, most of which working in the automotive sector, as suppliers of FIAT (nowadays part of the STELLANTIS group which also includes Chrysler, Renault and Peugeot).

The area where parco Dora is found was a Pirelli plant specialised in the production of cables and tyres. Dismissed more than 30 years ago, the plant constituted sort of an industrial archaeologic site, until Turin was designated as Olympic host city in 1998. The XXth winter Olympics were in fact held in Turin in 2006 and starting from the deignation moment, a set of restoration started to make the city shine, in preparation of the event. It would take me too long to describe what was done and the venues that were built (most of which are in use today for purposes different than sport) as works went on for 8 years and impacted positively on the overall “look of the city”, thus I want to only present you one of the most interesting renovations that changed the shape of the industrial disctrict of the city: the Dora Park.

The idea underpinning the renovation of the Dora Park was that of keeping the industrail plant visible (at least the remains of it) and to refurbish the whole complex with tools and equipment to allow visitors enjoy spending time there. That is why a section of the park is aimed at allowing street artists to express themselves with graffiti, murales and performaces, another section was equipped with basket and volleyball fields, others for open air gymnasium. The whole place is crossed by a metal highline which connect the two ends of the former plant and provide a unique view over the whole complex.

There are several reason to come visit Turin. Aside the Royal Palaces (14 in town) the mighty Egyptian Museum and other cultural attractions, do not skip a visit to this unique park.

Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
The Highline at Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Street Art at Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Open Air Gymnasium at Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
The highline at Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
The Sport Fields at Dora Park – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

The Location is also used for special events such as a sort of “love parade” which takes place in june as well some dj sets but also by the local muslim community that gathers here once a year to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

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